Fighting EOKA: The British Counter-Insurgency Campaign on Cyprus, 1955-1959

ISBN : 9780198729341

David French
352 Pages
168 x 243 mm
Pub date
Mar 2015
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Drawing upon a wide range of unpublished sources, including files from the recently-released Foreign and Commonwealth Office 'migrated archive', Fighting EOKA is the first full account of the operations of the British security forces on Cyprus in the second half of the 1950s. It shows how between 1955 and 1959 these forces tried to defeat the Greek Cypriot paramilitary organisation, EOKA, which was fighting to bring about enosis, that is the union between Cyprus and Greece. By tracing the evolving pattern of EOKA violence and the responses of the police, the British army, the civil administration on the island, and the minority Turkish Cypriot community, David French explains why the British could contain the military threat posed by EOKA, but could not eliminate it. The result was that by the spring of 1959 a political stalemate had descended upon Cyprus, and none of the contending parties had achieved their full objectives. Greek Cypriots had to be content with independence rather than enosis. Turkish Cypriots, who had hoped to see the island partitioned on ethnic lines, were given only a share of power in the government of the new Republic, and the British, who had hoped to retain sovereignty over the whole of the island, were left in control of just two military enclaves.


1. The British Colonial Administration and Enosis, 1878-1950
2. Makarios, Grivas, and EOKA
3. 'A game of cops and robbers': The Start of the Insurgency, April 1955-March 1956
4. EOKA versus the Security Forces, March 1956- March 1957
5. Loosing Hearts and Minds
6. 'The Nazi Methods of Hitler': EOKA's Counter-narrative
7. The Governorship of Sir Hugh Foot and the descent into inter-communal violence, 1957 - 1958
8. The Macmillan Plan and the Zurich and London Agreements

About the author: 

David French was born in Essex in 1954 and educated at the University of York and the War Studies Department at King's College London. After briefly holding teaching posts at North London Polytechnic, the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Heriot-Watt University, he spent 27 years at University College London, before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer. The author of eight previous books, he has been the recipient of the Arthur Goodzeit Prize of the New York Military Affairs Symposium, and is a three-times winner of the Templer Medal awarded by the Society for Army Historical Research. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Historical Association.

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